Lately I’ve been reminiscing about the wine country trip Ravi and I took a couple of years ago. Our friends Dan and Lisa just got back from celebrating their anniversary in Napa and Sonoma, and now my friend Cathy is heading that way this week to celebrate her birthday. So as you can imagine, for the past few months, I’ve had numerous conversations with them about their plans, all of which have turned me nearly green with envy.
You see, I consider that vacation my best EVER. A 9-day trip to San Francisco and the wine country is a food lover’s paradise. I could talk for days about all of the gastronomic delights we encountered, but since I wrote up a detailed account of it on Chowhound right after we got back home, I’ll let you go there and read it if you’re so inclined. Just click on the Chowhound link above and it will take you right to my recap. (Just don’t do it on an empty stomach!)
Today the reason for my post is to share just one simple recipe that came from that trip. Last week when an acquaintance was searching for a brunch recipe- specifically something other than an egg dish- this Blackberry Cream Cheese Coffeecake immediately came to mind.
Here’s a little background on where this vision of yumminess originated. The B & Bs we stayed in when visiting Sonoma and Healdsburg, the Inn at Sonoma and Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza, both put out an amazing spread of fabulous food every morning. We started off every day on a happy note, with completely full bellies, which is particularly important when you’ve got hours of wine tasting ahead.
After finishing breakfast on our last day, I stopped in the kitchen to chat with the chef about one of her delectable dishes in hopes that I could recreate it for a brunch I was hosting upon my return home to Nashville. Turns out recreating most of the goodies we’d eaten at both properties wouldn’t be so difficult, because the Inns actually published their own cookbook that I could purchase at the front desk! On the flight home I read my new cookbook from cover to cover, choosing the very first recipe listed in the book to serve to my friends the next morning.
This is a picture from the brunch I hosted. It’s the only one I have of the scrumptious coffeecake. I actually wish I had an audio recording of my guests compliments and praises because that would be a better indicator of what a huge hit it was! I’ve made it several times since and it never fails to impress. Have a holiday brunch on the horizon? Make this if you want to dazzle your friends and family!
Blackberry Cream Cheese Coffeecake
Yields 10 servings. From Four Sisters Inns cookbook.
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup sweet butter
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup sour cream
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 tsp almond extract
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup blackberry preserves
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 10" spring form pan. Combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Reserve 3/4 cup of the mixture. To the remaining mixture, add baking powder, baking soda, sour cream, almonds, egg and almond extract. Blend well. Spread mixture over the bottom of the pan and 2" up the sides.
Combine cream cheese, sugar, and egg, blending well. Pour over the batter in the pan. Carefully spoon preserves over the cheese filling. Combine 3/4 cup reserved crumb mixture with the sliced almonds. Sprinkle over the top and bake for 45-55 minutes.
Note: Play around with the fruit preserves you use- I'm sure many flavors would be wonderful. I've actually used blueberry as well with great success.